The Best AP Macroeconomics Review Books of 2019

By January 8, 2019 September 11th, 2019 AP Book Reviews
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Stressed about your AP Macroeconomics exam? Read this article to learn what are the best AP Macroeconomics review books available to help turbo charge your studying and to score a 5. In this article, we review our top picks for AP Macroeconomics study aids.

In the most recent Advanced Placement or AP Macroeconomics exam, over 57% got a score of 3 or higher. And out of the total number of students that took the exam, 18.2% got a 5. The scores of this exam were even higher than they were the previous year, which had the highest scores in recent years. This means that either the exams are getting easier or that the students are just performing a lot better every year.

Whatever the reason is for the increasing scores, you can be one of the 18.2% that got a 5 in the exam if you equip yourself with the proper tools and books needed for your review for the AP Macroeconomics exam. That said, we have listed the best AP Macroeconomics review materials we believe have the highest chances of helping you get that 5.

If you prefer a video summary, check out the summary section of this guide. If you want to just get back to studying, get our top choice for AP Macroeconomics prep book here.

Our Favorites (the best AP Macroeconomics review books)

Foundations of Economics AP Edition by Pearson’s

This is not a mere review book but an entire textbook itself. What makes it different from all of the other textbooks on economics is that this edition was specifically made for the AP Economics courses and exams (both microeconomics and macroeconomics). We believe that there is no better way for you to start reviewing your foundations on macroeconomics than reading a textbook that is designed for the AP Macroeconomics exam.

Reformatted to fit the College Board’s outline for the AP Macroeconomics exam, this textbook helps you understand all of the important concepts and topics that will be covered by the test. It has everything you need to know to master your fundamental knowledge of not only macroeconomics but also of economics as an entire subject matter.

The good part is that it teaches you these concepts in an engaging and easy-to-read style that makes it a very light read despite being a textbook. The writing style is simple to understand for any kind of student. In that sense, it won’t take too long for you to skim through this book during your entire review process.

This material also contains a lot of problems and exercises that will help improve the way you digest the important concepts of macroeconomics while also serving as a way for you to practice your solving and test-answering skills. And, to help you adjust to the actual exam, the questions you can find in this book mirror the ones you will be encountering in the AP Macroeconomics exam.

Compared to others we’ll review here, it is a very expensive book. However, considering that you can use it for both your AP Economics courses and exams, it might be a good price to pay. This is why Amazon customers did not hesitate on paying for this helpful book, which they thought was very easy to understand and digest both as their main textbook for their economics courses and as a resource during their review for the exam.

What makes it unique:

  • It is a textbook that you can use for all of your AP Economics courses and exams and not just merely for AP Macroeconomics.
  • This edition was made specifically for AP Economics, which makes it the main resource you should use for the AP Macroeconomics course and exam.

Why choose this book:

  • It is the best AP Macroeconomics review book you can find if you really want to master the fundamental knowledge needed not only for the AP Macroeconomics exam but also for the other economics-related AP exams and courses.
  • If you have a lot of time in your hands to the point that you can read a textbook, then this is the material for you.

5 Steps to a 5: AP Macroeconomics by Eric Dodge

Bringing you the same five-step procedure that has made 5 Steps such a popular review book for the AP exams, this material specifically made for AP Macroeconomics promises to give you everything you need to know to get a 5 in the upcoming exam.

Like any 5 Steps book, this one follows the same format that starts out by helping you make your own study plan. You will then take a diagnostic test to assess your current knowledge of the topics covered by the AP Macroeconomics exam. After that, the book will help you develop techniques and strategies you better use to answer the different types of questions you will be encountering in the exam.

The fourth step of this book is the content review part that covers all of the topics in the College Board’s outline for the AP Macroeconomics exam. The chapters have practice questions you can use to improve your retention and understanding of the subject matter. And, lastly, the book comes with two full-length practice exams that are designed to help you become a more confident student on the day of the exam.

Because of its systematic and procedure-based style of review, this book is easy to follow and will help you assess yourself in a step-by-step manner. Each step was specifically designed to not only improve your knowledge but also your skills so that, by the end of the five steps, you are already prepared enough to get that score of 5 in the AP Macroeconomics exam.

For its price, it might be more expensive than the other review books on the market but it guides you through everything you need to know and do to for the upcoming exam. It is a well-balanced book that simply gives you a little bit of everything and more.

What makes it unique:

  • It guides you through a step-by-step procedure during the entire review process.
  • The book has two full-length practice exams and also allows you to take two more exams online.

Why choose this book:

  • If you prefer a more systematic approach, 5 Steps should be on the top of your list.
  • It is as complete a book as any other because of how it guides you through making your own study plan while also giving you tips and strategies. On top of that, it has a lot of practice exams and questions you can use to hone your skills and knowledge.

AP Macroeconomics Review: 400 Practice Questions and Answer Explanations by Michael Graziosi, Island Prep Publishing

This book breaks the monotony of having to make you read through the content reviews and the tips and strategies that most other review books on the market contain. In short, it doesn’t contain any of those parts because this material purely delivers hundreds of practice questions that patterned after the AP Macroeconomics exam.

Since this book focuses only on practice questions, you won’t have to waste time reading content reviews and all of the other additional sections that other books have. You only have to make sure your mind is functioning at its peak level while answering the questions in this material because all 400 of those questions are designed to make you feel what it is like taking the actual exam.

Each question comes with corresponding answers and explanations that help you understand where you got things wrong and how to improve yourself for the actual AP Macroeconomics exam. The explanations are so detailed that you probably won’t ever make the same kinds of mistakes in the future.

This book is priced super affordably. And while it is not as complete a review material as any other book on the market, it does its job perfectly well. After all, questions and problems about economics need not only knowledge but also problem-solving skills. In that sense, it also works as a great complementary tool for all any other book.

What makes it unique:

  • It completely focuses on practice questions that each have their own corresponding answers and explanations.
  • The answers are explained in great detail to the point that they already act as a content review of sorts.

Why choose this book:

  • Go for this AP Macroeconomics review book if you are looking for a pure practice book that challenges and helps improve your answering skills.
  • It works well as a complementary book for all other materials that have complete sections on content review.

The Runners-Up for Best AP Microeconomics Review Books (still good but a little lacking)

Barron’s AP Microeconomics/Macroeconomics by Frank Musgrave, Elia Kacapyr, James Redelsheimer

Barron’s is usually known for producing some of the best review materials you can find on the market, and this one is no exception. However, the only reason why this book did not make it to our list of favorites is that it was made for both AP Macroeconomics and Microeconomics. In a sense, it does not focus primarily on either one of those subjects. Nevertheless, it is still a high-quality material that deserves consideration.

Barron’s delivers to you a complete and detailed comprehensive review of all the topics that will be covered by the AP Economics exams. It is divided into the two main disciplines of economics: microeconomics and macroeconomics. However, in this case, you might want to focus only on macroeconomics if you aren’t reviewing for the AP Microeconomics exam.

The book contains one practice for macroeconomics and another one for microeconomics. All of the answers in the tests have their corresponding explanations to make sure you understand how to get to the correct answers the next time you face a similar question.

Sort of a two-for-one kind of a book, this material costs around nothing compared to others reviewed. While it seems like a bargain given that you are getting one book that already covers both AP Economics exams, you also have to consider the fact that it might not be as specialized to one focus area or the other. That is why, again, the book did not make it to our list of favorites.

What makes it unique:

  • It covers both macroeconomics and microeconomics.

Why choose this book:

  • If you are a fan of Barron’s and don’t mind a book that seems like it doesn’t focus on either macroeconomics or microeconomics, then you would probably like this book.
  • If you are also reviewing for the AP Microeconomics exam, this one is a good bargain for you.

Cracking the AP Economics Macro and Micro Exams by The Princeton Review

Like Barron’s, Cracking is also a leader in this industry as it always delivers quality AP review books. However, this book also faces a similar problem in the sense that it already covers both macroeconomics and microeconomics. While that is not entirely a huge problem, it might make the book a bit half-baked if you are focusing only on the AP Macroeconomics exam in this case.

However, Cracking remains a top-quality material that can still help you get that 5. It has a comprehensive review part of the important topics that will be covered by the AP Macroeconomics exam. The good part is that the content has been updated to reflect the updates in the most recent exam. Each chapter also ends with drills you can use to practice your solving and answering skills.

This material comes with two full-length practice tests that are challenging and difficult enough to make you feel like you are taking the real thing. However, like Barron’s, there is only one test for macroeconomics since the other one is for microeconomics. But that does not make it any less of an excellent book especially when you consider that it’s more in the affordable end of things we covered here.

What makes it unique:

  • It is similar to Barron’s because it contains both macroeconomics and microeconomics.
  • The practice tests are a lot more difficult compared to what the other books can offer.

Why choose this book:

  • If you prefer going for a book that also helps you review for the AP Microeconomics exam, this one will save you time and money.
  • Choose it for the difficult practice tests if you are looking to challenge yourself.

The Best Value for Your Money (good and affordable)

AP Macroeconomics Crash Course by Jason Welker

Crash Course was always designed to be a literal crash course that teaches you everything you need to know about the course, which is AP Macroeconomics in this case. Despite its reputation as a quick review book, it does not skimp out on quality and still delivers an affordable and comprehensive review.

What makes it able to give you a high-quality review experience that is also quick is that it tends to go directly to the point and does not contain any fluff that would end up wasting your time and effort. Simply put, it only contains and teaches you the things you actually need to know to get a high score in the AP Macroeconomics exam. And the great part is that the format is so easy to read to make it lighter on your part especially if you are cramming for the exam.

The book also makes for a good material to be used for a more targeted review because of how concise and straight to the point it is. In that sense, if you want to understand and focus on one or two topics, this can help you zero in and target the content you want to emphasize your review on.

Crash Course has test-taking strategies you can use to improve the way you answer exams. Of course, it also comes with a practice test that you can take online. It certainly gives you the bang for your buck. Its quality and its price are what made it a favorite among satisfied customers on Amazon. Online customer reviews all rave about how it is a great source of information and how it makes understanding graphs and curves easier.

What makes it unique:

  • It is quick and easy to read compared to the other books.
  • The book only contains the things you need to know for the exam and does not waste any time on fluff.

Why choose this book:

  • This is the best AP Macroeconomics review book choice for you if you are short on time and money.
  • It works as your last-minute resource days or hours before the exam.

Summary of the Best AP Macroeconomics Review Books

Wrapping everything up, here are the top AP Macroeconomics review resources we went over today:

ProductList PriceNumber Of Pages
Foundations of Economics, AP Edition, 8th Edition N/A N/A
5 Steps to a 5: AP Macroeconomics 2018 $18.00 256
AP Macroeconomics Review: 400 Practice Questions $11.99 311
Barron's AP Microeconomics/Macroeconomics $21.99 352
Cracking the AP Economics Macro & Micro Exams, 2019 Edition $18.99 320
AP® Macroeconomics Crash Course $14.95 304

Though it is true that there is an upward trend in the AP Macroeconomics exam scores, preparation is still key when it comes to getting a high score in the test. That is especially true to the AP Macroeconomics exam because of how you need to master practicing problems when you face the free-response portion of the exam, which composes 33% of your score. That said, you will certainly need the help of any of our top review book choices.

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